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April 24, 2006

The Distinctly French Love for Dictators
Posted by Shadi Hamid

On Friday, French President Jacques Chirac completed a two-day official visit to Cairo for talks with his Egyptian counterpart, President Hosni Mubarak (indeed, two men of great moral stature).

Of course, Chirac was fully aware of leading opposition figure Ayman Nour’s continued incarceration and his deteriorating health (see my previous post for background). So you’d think Mr. Chirac would take the opportunity to at least mention the Nour case, feign some concern, say anything, just a word, even pretend. Instead, we are given a predictably wondrous piece of cynical posturing cloaked in the language of cultural relativism (from Le Monde, translated by The Arabist):

As for internal developments in Egypt, France does not endorse, here as elsewhere in the Arab world, the more aggressive discourse of the United States on the topic of democratization, but instead prefers to stress the fact that “reforms must be conducted by each at his own rhythm.” Mr. Chirac, his spokesman said, intends to “affirm France’s support for the political and economic modernization undertaken by Egypt.”

France is a model example of the complete and utter absence of moral rectitude that has come to define certain segments of the European political elite. France, however, has dutifully earned its right to be singled out as a country notorious for its careful and remarkably consistent indulgence of dictators. One must mention its blatant, unapologetic support for the Algerian military coup of 1991 (civil war and 100,000 lives lost would be the result). Or its unqualified support for possibly the worst of the Arab dictators - Tunisia’s Ben Ali - who still manages to command healthy 95% majorities in his country’s well-orchestrated charades of inimitable window dressing. Or its relative indifference to the massacre of Bosnian Muslims under Milosevic (but, of course, that's not just France). For his part, Chirac, with this latest trip, has yet again proven himself the perfect representation of the unfortunate surplus of Scrowcroftian automatons which have relentlessly pledged their dedication to making the Middle East into the ultimate autocrat-ridden powder keg, a kind of messy playground for the world’s most egregious tyrants.

Silence. The high cost of a carefully constructed Faustian bargain.


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France is a model example of the complete and utter absence of moral rectitude that has come to define certain segments of the European political elite. France, however, has dutifully earned its right to be singled out as a country notorious for its ca... [Read More]


"The Distinctly French Love for Dictators "

Iraq 1963
iran 1953
Chile 1973
indonesia 1965
Central America - too often to count.

Who is egypts largest donor of military aid ?

The US provides aid to Uzbekistan , and as rumsfeld said in 2004 "Our relationship is strong and has been growing stronger." The uzbekistan leadership have been to boil their opponents alive.

In pakistan, another US ally, when was president Musharraf elected again ?

Distinctly french ?
Oh please. They are the merest amateurs compared to the US.

"model example of the complete and utter absence of moral rectitude that has come to define certain segments of the European political elite. "

Come back to us the next time the europeans make up spurious intelligence to launch an unprovoked attack on a country. Or when they make torture an offical policy of their government.

The theory that americans occupy some sort of moral high ground to judge other countries is , as it has been for decades, pathetic and rather laughable.

le sigh...

Middle Congo
French Morocco
French Somaliland
French Togoland
French Guinea
French Sudan
The Ivory Coast
Upper volta
French Guiana
Guadaloupe and St. Barts
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Hankou
Pondicherry, Chandernagore, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanaon
French Polynesia
New Caledonia

...all held by France as part of the French Colonial Empire in 1931

At least the US is more apt to coerce a country than it is to conquer it with the goal of exploiting it indefinitely.

whatever, slim shadi.

I'm tired of your bigotry. Now it's directed against the French?

Go preach your hate somewhere else.

I hear the Klan has some openings.

I didn't see any hate--contempt maybe, for the leader of the country that once established the rights of man but has become associated with supporting dictators in an even more egregious fashion than the USG. At least the latter was fighting a cold war against a global competitor. What was/is France's excuse?
And how can you deny they conduct cynical posturing as they support all FR companies' buyouts of foreign concerns, but then go so far as to claim yoghurt a strategic sector worthy of protection?

Every nation ridicules other nations, and all are right.

-- Arthur Schopenhauer

"Distinctively French" and yet "Scrowcroftian."
The author was enjoying himself too much to think clearly.

Which is it kiddo, internationalist or American nationalist?

Je proteste. France may have a lot of colonies, but at least they are doing their part in helping fight global poverty by contributing to the UN's Millennium Goals. The US has done no such thing. The Borgen Project is working to get these goals on the agenda of the world's agenda-setter.

Visit Borgen Project


The millenium project will do nothing to help the third world. Much better would be to stop the corruption of the leadership in the third world countries. Unfortunately, Presuident Chirac and some of his cronies are some of gthe leading proponents of bribery and corruption. In fact, Chifrac stands to be indicted in France the moment he leaves office.

Thank goodness our own noble President did not pull any punches during the recent Hu Jintao. Mr Bush's forceful, stirring condemnation of China's appalling human rights record is reproduced in full here: " ." Pot, kettle, black, etc.


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